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date: 31 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

American Indian writers produced a wealth of literature near the turn of the twentieth century, a historical period spanning 1887, when the General Allotment Act was enacted into law, and 1907, when Oklahoma became a state. The effects of allotment-era policies were tackled by Cherokee authors such as Will Rogers, Narcissa Owen, Lynn Riggs, Alex Posey, and Sofia Alice Callahan. Despite the emergence of a great deal of writing from Indian Territory and then Oklahoma, most critics of Native literature have neglected this writing because many of these writers have often been regarded as only tangentially Indian. This chapter explores Indian identity in relation to Indian literature, focusing on two novels: Callahan’s Wynema and John Oskison’s Brothers Three. Both Callahan and Oskison champion interracial marriage, consistently offer alternative models of assimilation that seem more like two-way acculturation for American Indians, and confront the importance of “the Indian problem,” as well as the realistic diversity of Indian identity.

Keywords: Oklahoma, Sofia Alice Callahan, Indian Territory, Indian identity, Indian literature, John Oskison, assimilation, acculturation, Indian problem, American Indians

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